Resources – Shirley’s Articles For Reprint

It’s Time To Question The Norms In Your Email Writing

Since my recent articles, the conversations about writing style are still continuing, and that’s a good thing. It means people are really thinking about the way you are writing emails and other business documents.

Some people have asked me whether social media has had an impact on our business writing. This is a great question, and the answer is yes.

Social media has reshaped the way we communicate

Younger people in the workplace today were born with social media. They know how to communicate concisely, using fewer words, images, stories. But what happens when they go out into the corporate world?

Very often, they get caught in the prison of the old corporate ways by writing long-winded, template-style jargon that bears little resemblance to a conversation between two real live human beings.

This is probably because they are influenced by what they see other people doing. Perhaps they see colleagues and bosses writing “Please find attached”, “Please be informed”, “Kindly be advised” and “above-mentioned/below-mentioned”, etc, so they just follow suit.

Times change. We must change too.

Within a few decades we’ve gone from horse and carriage to driverless cars. We’ve gone from manual typewriters to super-powered computers. Our whole world has changed. It’s time for our business writing to change too.

Today, readers want to read messages that are simple, clear and understandable. Readers need to know exactly what to do and how to reply. Writers must use plain language that’s easy to write, easy to read, and easy to understand. This involves using short, clear sentences and everyday words, in active voice, with no redundancies. It means writing like a human, not a template!

It’s time to question the norms!

Throughout history, our style of communication has always been shaped by the times we are living in. Right now, it’s 2019, and we are living in Age of Creativity. It’s time to question the norms! Don’t just accept what’s been happening in your company for years, perhaps decades. Do something about it.

It will take only one person to raise the issue in a meeting, or in a discussion with your boss. You could start a huge ripple effect that could really make a difference – a human difference!

So, are you going to question the norms in your organisation? I’d love to know.

How can I help?

Over the past 20 years, I’ve helped a lot of individuals and organisations with this challenge of transforming their writing skills. I’d love to help you and your organisation! Contact me today at shirley@sttstraining.com.

All articles are copyright © Shirley Taylor. All rights reserved. This information may not be distributed, sold, publicly presented, or used in any other manner, except as described here.

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© Shirley Taylor.
Shirley is a high-energy, high-content speaker who is passionate about motivating individuals to make a real difference in our automated world. With inspiring stories and a fun style, she engages audiences quickly, and encourages them to embrace high-touch as well as high-tech so they can connect with heart.

Shirley has been a trusted member of the professional speaking and training community for many years, and has received several awards for her services in leadership. She served as Asia Professional Speakers Singapore President 2011-12 and as Global Speakers Federation President 2017-18. She has spoken in almost 20 countries all over the world.

Author of 12 books published by international publishers, Shirley has established herself as a leading authority in workplace communication, business writing, and email. Her international bestseller Model Business Letters, Emails & Other Business Documents 7th edition has sold over half a million copies worldwide and been translated into 17 languages.

If you would like Shirley to speak at your next event, visit shirleytaylor.com.

** The website link to shirleytaylor.com must be clickable to receive permission to reprint the article.